Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Vanessa Fortenberry wrote plays, poetry, and short stories as a young girl. Fascinated with words, she was also an avid reader.
Vanessa attended Clark College (now Clark-Atlanta University). She soon found herself in a predicament of having to choose between English or Music as her major. Her love of music prevailed and she initiated studies in Music Education with a concentration in Voice.
After graduation, Vanessa still could not escape the appeal of the “written word.” She continued to write poetry and also commenced to write a romance novel. Well . . . life caught up with Vanessa and she found herself abandoning her dreams of writing.
Years later, Vanessa taught general music, chorus, and voice where she excelled in passing on her love of music to her students. However, her continued passion for books, reading, and research soon led Vanessa to return to school for her Master’s and Specialist degrees in Media from the University of West Georgia. As a teacher-librarian, Vanessa enjoys story time with her students and also takes pleasure in literacy events with them.
Vanessa’s interest in how children learn to read and how to best teach them to read fascinated her. Consequently, she earned a Reading endorsement from the University of Georgia in 2009.
When asked about her dreams for the future, Vanessa would always respond, “to write a book.” But, she could never pin-point the genre or audience. Vanessa’s creative endeavors launched a new meaning in 2010, while exercising at the gym. She mistakenly (how many of you know it wasn’t a mistake?) turned the TV channel to the 700 Club. A conversation about how “God knows us and knows us by name,” quickly gained her attention. God spoke to Vanessa and she went home to write the first of many motivational stories for children. Additionally, her love of music inspired her to write songs to accompany several of her writing projects.
Vanessa’s book launch celebration for her book, Mama, I Want to See God, was held on March 1, 2014 at the Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library in Decatur, Georgia. Vanessa spoke on the theme: Literature and Libraries: Influencing Children’s Lives through Life Lesson Stories.
Daddy, I Want to Know God, the second book in the series, “Families Growing in Faith” also launched at the Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library on October 7, 2017. Vanessa spoke on the theme: Fathers, Families, Faith, and Literacy.
Grandma, Granddad, We Want to Praise God, the third book in the series released in October 2021.
Vanessa also wrote an article, “Encouraging Your Reader” published in the June 2012 edition of the Guardian Angel Kids Ezine (www.guardian-angel-kids.com).
Vanessa continues to develop her craft by participating in writers organizations. She is a member of The Christian Authors Guild, (www.christianauthorsguild.org), where she is also a contributor to the book, Relief Notes: Encouraging Letters for Tough Times; The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), The Christian Authors on Tour (http://christianauthorsontour.com), The Stonecrest Writing Support Group, and she was previously a contributing writer for her church newsletter publication, The Anchor.
Vanessa invites you to subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, Connecting Readers to the Word and her blog, Connecting Readers and Writers to the Word (Home Page).
Vanessa savors the moments she spends with her family and friends; as well as baking delicious desserts for her loved ones.